UAE’s ADNOC discovers 650 mil barrels of crude, including flagship Murban

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UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. has discovered 650 million barrels of crude, including its flagship Murban grade, as the national oil producer ramps up exploration activity amid a target to hit 5 million b/d of oil production capacity by 2030.

The biggest discovery was 500 million barrels at Bu Hasa, Abu Dhabi’s biggest onshore field with oil production capacity of 650,000 b/d, the Abu Dhabi media office said in a statement May 19 following a meeting of the executive committee of ADNOC’s board of directors chaired by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed.

“The 500 million barrels of oil discovered from an exploration well in the Bu Hasa field has unlocked a new formation within the field, offering substantial additional premium-grade Murban oil resources,” the statement said.

Murban crude, one of four grades that ADNOC produces, underpins its futures contract that was launched in March 2021.

ADNOC has been partnering with international oil companies to help boost its oil production capacity, which will rise to 5 million b/d by 2030 from about 4 million b/d now. Nearly half of the new production capacity is expected to come from Murban, ADNOC’s biggest crude by volume.

About half of ADNOC’s current oil production capacity comes from Murban, a lighter and sweeter grade than ADNOC’s other crudes, which are Upper Zakum, Das and Umm Lulu.

Futures contract

Murban underpins the futures contract on ICE Futures Abu Dhabi, the exchange that was launched in March 2021 in partnership with the Intercontinental Exchange.

Murban is also the main Abu Dhabi grade processed at ADNOC’s Ruwais refinery, which is undergoing an upgrade to allow it to process a wider range of crudes. The crude flexibility project is expected to finish in 2022 and would free up Murban for export.

Occidental also has discovered 100 million barrels oil in place, the second find in its Onshore Block 3 concession. Occidental won exploration rights for Onshore Block 3 in 2019 under the emirate’s first international bid round.

“Around 50 million barrels of light and sweet Murban-quality crude was also discovered in the Al Dhafra Petroleum Concession, operated by Al Dhafra Petroleum, a joint venture between ADNOC, the Korea National Oil Company and GS Energy,” the media office statement said.

Abu Dhabi made a new crude oil, condensate and natural gas discovery holding up to 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent at its major Block 4 onshore concession operated by Japan’s INPEX, ADNOC said Dec. 14.

Since 2018, ADNOC has launched two bidding rounds to boost oil and gas exploration activities with the help of international oil companies.

Clean energy

Sheikh Khaled also “gave directives to explore new clean energy partnerships, including clean hydrogen, as part of the company’s ambitious growth plans in the field, and to help support the energy transition,” the statement said.

ADNOC has been spearheading plans to produce clean hydrogen in the UAE, which has pledged to have zero emissions by 2050, the first country in the Middle East to make such a commitment.

The UAE is targeting a 25% global market share of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030, has several hydrogen projects underway. OPEC’s third biggest producer is eyeing a large share of key export markets, including Japan, South Korea, and Germany, as well as other markets it identifies as being of “high potential” in Europe and East Asia.
Souce: Platts